Kuantan Backpackers is a delightful hostel and has most of the features that are expected. It is set in the centre of the city, close to the urban bus station, close to the river, close to the markets. There's a great Saturday market, plenty of interesting food, and an alcohol shop -- cross the road and head left about three hundred metres. The hostel is secure (look for the buzzer though the door grill when you first arrive), and you will be given a key to get in. The reception is not manned all day, but there is a phone number on the door to get someone to come. Wi-Fi is excellent throughout the hostel.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The main dorms -- one mixed, one female -- are on the reception level. Muslim couples cannot both go in the mixed dorm unless they can show they are married (it's the law). There are extra dorms and a couple of small privates on the floor above. The dorms have fans and air-con, and though they have bunks for ten, there are seldom more than three or four guests at a time. There are three bathrooms on this floor and extra on the upper floor. They are large, and though a bit basic, are clean, and have instant hot water.
The reception is up one flight of stairs and the common areas surround it. The decor of the main common areas is classic "hostel graffiti with plenty of travel witticisms." There are soft chairs and tables and chairs, and one free PC, a TV, and DVDs, and as these are just outside the main dorms it's a good place to hang out and get to meet newcomers.
Guests have the use of a small, clean kitchen, which has cooking facilities and a large fridge. Tea and coffee are supplied free at all times and a basic breakfast of toast and jam is provided for free.
Kuantan is not considered a major tourist city, but it does have a few attractions, as well as being a key hub joining west and east sides of Peninsula Malaysia, and an easy bus ride to Taman Negara (National Park) in the centre. A city bus ride is all it takes to get to the historic tin mines and interesting old town at Sungai Lembing, but do get advice as the tourism there is a bit disorganised. We stayed here twice and would happily do so again.